If you operate a business using mailing lists, consumer mailing lists, opportunity seeker mailing lists or MLM mailing lists to target Opportunity Seekers, Business Opportunity Seekers, MLM Opportunity Seekers and Home Based Business Opportunity Seekers, you can benefit from reading this article.
9 STEPS TO GREAT PRINT ADVERTISING
|When you design a new product for your company, you probably follow a structured design and development process. A similar process should be used in your marketing, particularly the creation of advertising. In this article, we offer you a suggested sequence, with Nine Steps To Great Print Advertising.
(1) Write it for people reading the ad and ‘Call Them to Action’.
Call the phone number listed by 5:00PM on Friday to purchase tickets for the concert.
Walk into the store to see the featured sofabeds.
If they have $10,000 or more to invest, call the 800 number to set up an appointment.
Learn about and remember your unique features, so they will select your product next time they visit a local pet shop.
Come to the open house next week.
Become aware of our service, so they will welcome our cold sales calls.
Mail in the coupon for their free trial sample.
(2) Before creating your ad...
write a brief sentence like one of the above that describes exactly what you expect your prospects to do after they read the ad: "As a result of reading this advertisement, I expect (types of individuals) to (take this specific action)." Then, as you write the ad, refer back to this objective and ask yourself whether your ad copy would reasonably make people respond as you intend.For most ads, you should have just one, simple objective. All ads help build market awareness, so that is usually a secondary objective. Your stated objective should be a specific action you expect readers to take.
(3) Decide Where To Advertise
Four things will determine the best medium for your advertisement:
Ask yourself - what publications are read by my target audience. Most people read the local newspaper, so that's a good place to advertise a product or service having broad appeal. However, if you offer a boat waxing service, you'd do better in a local boating newspaper or magazine. If you provide a business service, you might do equally well in the business section of your newspaper or in a specialized, business-oriented publication.Contact the sales representative for each potential publication and ask for their Media Kit. Among other things, the kit includes information on reader demographics - the number of readers who fall into various categories. The higher the percentage of readers who are in your target audience group, the better the medium is likely to work for you in terms of return on investment.
If you want to buy a used car, where do you look? In the automotive classifieds. If you need a plumber to open your clogged drain, where do you look? In the yellow pages. Advertisements can work anywhere your prospects may see them, but they work even better when you place your ad where people in your target audience specifically look for your type of product. (That's why auto dealers are usually clustered in auto miles, fast food restaurants are usually very close to each other, and antique dealers are clumped in the same neighborhood.) Start with all publications that are likely to be read by your target audience. Then look for advertisements for your type of product. The publication that has the most ads for your type of product is usually your best bet, for two reasons. First is the fact that most of your prospects will look there first before making a purchase. Second, you benefit from your competitors' trial-and-error research; they wouldn't all be there if it didn't work.If your product is somewhat unique, and is seldom advertised, look for products or services that are generally purchased by the same types of people. Then, when prospects look for the other ads, they find yours there, too.
If you sell a proprietary line of home security products nationwide, you're in luck. There are several national magazines for this marketplace. But if you install security alarms in your local area, national magazines are a waste of money, even though the readership may be right on. It's the same with newspapers. They can be an excellent buy if your prospects are anywhere in the metropolitan area covered by the paper. Or, the newspaper can be fine if it has a regional edition that matches your local area. In general, you waste money when you place your ad in a periodical that covers a much larger area than your target market. Look for the publication whose circulation most closely matches your market. Incidentally, if your market is national or regional, your best advertising value may be a number of local newspapers in selected cities.
Every publication will quote you a price for each ad size. From this and the information they have on their circulation and the demographics of their readership, calculate your cost per 1,000 impressions:
Total ad cost divided by circulation divided by percentage of readers who are in your target audience (according to the publication's demographics).
Example: If the ad costs $1,000 per insertion, the circulation is 240,000, and 36% of readers are potential prospects, the cost per 1,000 impressions would be $1,000/240/.36 = $11.57.
Make this same calculation for each publication that interests you.
(4) Determine The Size Of The Advertisement
The first time people see your ad, it may make an impression but not motivate them to act. With repetition, more people will realize you are here to stay and begin to respond. Since repetition is an essential factor in the success of most ads, you need to spread your ad budget out over time.
Determine the total amount you have to spend on advertising over a period of time.
Decide how many times you will run your ad during that time. For most products and services, you should advertise at least 6 times. It may be the same ad or with variations, but prospects need to see your name again and again over time. Virtually all publications will give you a substantial discount for multiple insertions.
Divide your total budget by the number of insertions. That gives you your budget per ad.
Using the pricing in the media kits, decide whether your budget per insertion is enough for the size of ad you want. (Let ads from other companies guide your minimum size. You don't need to run the biggest ad, but don't run a 1/2" x 2" ad when most others place a 4" x 5" or larger.)
If you can't afford a decent sized ad for enough repetitions in your chosen publication, either find a way to increase your budget or use a less costly publication.
(5) Write The Call To Action
Once you know how big your ad will be, who your audience is and where you will place your ad, you're ready to start writing. As you begin to write your ad, the first words that come to mind are probably the headline, but before you write the beginning of the ad, think about the end. If you're a Fortune 500 company, you may be content to run a general corporate ad that keeps your name in the public eye. For the rest of us, we write ads to make somebody take a step towards purchase.For your call to action, go back to your original objective. What do you want people who read your ad to do? Whatever it is, your call to action at the end of the ad needs to tell them exactly what to do. Examples:
Call 555-1234 today. Ask for Norm and receive your free sample of Hyperclean.
Clip this ad and bring it to your nearest Zemex dealer for a full 25% off on your first order. But don't delay. This offer ends November 30.
Look for Philon in your local hardware store. And if it's not there, tell the manager to order it for you.
By writing your call to action first, you accomplish two things. First, you make sure your ad ends up where you want it to go. Second, it helps you focus the content for the rest of the ad. To get ideas for your call to action, look through every publication you can get your hands on, and read the ads for your type of business that are run by the largest companies. You can bet that they employ top agencies that have extensively tested their ads. Borrow their calls to action and adapt them to your company.
(6) Write The Headline
An ad's headline is very closely related to the call to action. They work together to state the same point in two different ways. For example, suppose you sell a terrific stain remover for ceramic tile and your call to action is:
Your headline might read:
Norm is so sure you'll love Hyperclean tile cleaner, he wants to give you a tube free!
What about cute, teasing headlines? If you're Budweiser or Toyota and everyone knows you, you can become very creative with your ads. Many people will stop and read the ad no matter what the headline says, because they know the company and recognize the logo. If you're relatively unknown, though, cute headlines probably won't work. If people can't immediately tell from your headline what you are selling, unless you have a whole page in full color, they probably won't stop to read the ad. You are much better off writing a headline that tells people exactly what you have to offer, and to whom.
(7) Create The Body Text
Think of your ad as a sandwich. The headline and the call to action are important. The first makes the prospect stop and read the ad, and the second induces them to take an action; but the middle is where the meat is.
The job of the body is to amplify on the promise of the headline and to fill in enough details to make the call to action attractive. When you write the body, try to imagine a prospective customer sitting in front of you. What would you say to them as one person to another? That's the way you want to write your ad - like one person talking to another using language you would be comfortable using in a conversation. Simply tell your prospects what your product or service is, and why it is beneficial.
A few more guidelines for writing your ad's body:
Keep it focused. This is not the place to list all of the advantages of buying from you or all of the models you offer. Confine your copy to points which support your immediate objective and call to action. If you say too much, you may actually chase some customers away.
Don't use unnecessary puffery. Too many ads claim to be the best, to be the leading something, to have the lowest price, highest quality and so on. Use your body copy to communicate facts, not claims.
After you write the body, edit and then edit some more. Most people won't spend a lot of time reading your ad, so make every point as concisely as possible. Keep cutting out extra words until all that is left is pure steak with minimum frills.
(8) Add Graphics And Other Design Elements
Back to your objective. If you sell window coverings, an excellent photo can be one of the most important parts of your ad. If you sell accounting, images may be less useful than your list of specialized services. Use graphics and photos if they directly support your headline and your objective. Otherwise, they may confuse the reader about what you offer. And, as with the headline, don't use cute or humorous art unless it is the very best way to communicate your benefits.
(9) Wrap It All Up
When you have created all of the pieces for your ad, the last step is to put them together. Many newspapers and magazines will help you with the last steps of typesetting and integrating any graphics. If not, consider paying a local typesetting house or designer to put it together for you. Either way, clip one or more ads from other companies that appeal to you and show them to the designer as examples of the look you want for your company.What about creating the ad yourself on your own PC. If you're truly a skilled desktop publisher, go for it. Otherwise, pay someone who is. And even if you do it yourself, you may need to provide a disk to a typesetting company for output at the appropriate resolution. Never provide laser or inkjet output for use in a glossy magazine; get it typeset at high resolution.
If, after reading this article, you decide to have an agency or independent writer create your ad, make sure they follow these steps to define the audience, objectives , medium and call to action before writing the headline and body. Writing great ads is surprisingly easy when you know up front where you are trying to get to, and you never lose sight of that goal along the way.
Consider implementing these tips if you operate a business using mailing lists, consumer mailing lists, opportunity seeker mailing lists or MLM mailing lists to target Opportunity Seekers, Business Opportunity Seekers, MLM Opportunity Seekers and Home Based Business Opportunity Seekers and want to make more money than you are currently making.
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